Sen. Donoghue will stay put in the state Senate
Sen. Donoghue will stay put in the state Senate

LOWELL -- State Sen. Eileen Donoghue, eyed as one of the top candidates to replace Rep. Niki Tsongas in 2018, will not run for the 3rd Congressional District seat and will instead seek re-election next year, she told The Sun Tuesday.

Donoghue, of Lowell, said although she did not have a formal exploratory committee, she gave the prospect of running for Congress "a full due process and vetting" before deciding she wanted to remain in the state Senate representing the 1st Middlesex District.

"As important as this seat is and will continue to be for the entire 3rd Congressional District, I feel very firmly that I can best serve in the Senate," Donoghue said Tuesday.

Donoghue finished a close runner-up to Tsongas in a crowded Democratic primary for the House seat in 2007 when Marty Meehan resigned to become UMass Lowell chancellor.

In recent weeks there had been increased speculation that Donoghue will not run.

Tsongas served in Congress for a decade before announcing in August that she would not seek re-election in 2018.

The following Democrats have declared they are in the race:

* Daniel Arrigg Koh, an Andover native and formerly chief of staff to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

* Nadeem Mazen, an Andover native and Cambridge city councilor.

* Abhijit "Beej" Das, a North Andover resident and president and CEO of Troca Hotel.

* Juana Matias, a first-term state representative from Lawrence.


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The following Democrats are exploring a run, but have not formally announced:

* State Sen. Barbara L'Italien of Andover

* Former lieutenant governor nominee Steve Kerrigan of Lancaster, president of Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund and principal for Kilgeever Consulting Group.

* Lori Trahan, of Westford, who served as chief of staff to Meehan, CEO of the Concire Leadership Institute.

The following Republicans have entered the race.

* Scott Gunderson of Groton, businessman, Iraq veteran who served in the U.S. Navy.

* Rick Green of Pepperell, owner of 1-A Auto and co-founder of the Mass Fiscal Alliance.

For more on this story read Wednesday's Sun or click on http://www.lowellsun.com